San Antonio, TX 78288, USA
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3.6
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Update by user May 04, 2017

I've given up dealing with them. It seems to be only the claims department as other people seem shocked that they are handling claims in such a cold-hearted manner with long-time members. They are just getting too big and when you expand your customer base beyond your traditional core group and hire contract "technicians" to deal with your traditional customers (who are used to dealing with courteous, helpful agents and appraisers) then this current mess is what you get.

Update by user Dec 24, 2016

Sorry, couldn't get the pictures to rotate rightside up!

Original review posted by user Dec 24, 2016

Recently, I was involved in a rear-ender. Unfortunately, I was the car in back!

It was dark and I'm pretty sure it was a staged "panic stop" fraud. That or the person decided to stop in the street and talk on their phone just past yield sign, in the dark, no brake lights, with an empty road ahead of them. The Lake Worth, Texas, police and firemen were really prompt and were really great - and concerned about we involved participants. USAA Roadside Assistance was great and though already calling Silver Star Towing told me to use the police tow outfit if they could move my vehicle more quickly.

They could, they did, and Roadside cancelled Silver Star and I told them who the company was that picked up my truck. They had told me that it could be picked up there in a few days. Talking with the USAA agent (after going through that horrible phone tree and finally hitting "O" repeatedly) the agent was "business as usual" attitude-wise, not the friendly courteous help I've always had in the past. As I tried to explain the situation and how I thought it was a fraud setup, she interrupted me and exclaimed it was my fault (yeah, legally.

That's why "panic stop" frauds are so popular!). She said they would pick up my truck and take it to their appraiser. One week later, it was still at the towing service so I called the same person and was told they didn't know where my truck was and that Silver Star didn't have it. (Didn't think to check with Roadside or call me?) I was told they would probably pick it up the next day hopefully.

Almost two weeks after that, I had a hunch and called the tow outfit again. They had not heard a word from USAA and the truck was still on their lot. I contacted the agent again and got a story about two towing outfits getting confused about who was to pick it up. It was finally moved to the appraisers (AAI) in Wilmer, Texas, a long way from here.

This used truck is high demand vehicle for towing, etc., and I had just invested a substantial amount of money into making it better. It was paid for, a great vehicle and I was planning on retiring next year with a paid for tow vehicle to travel with. I corresponded with the agent/appraiser to let them know that if it was repairable, I would keep it and fix it back up. Not USAA's plan, I suspect, as I am hearing from other long-term members stories similar in handling their claims, etc.

The repair appraisal not only came in a couple thousand over but they added that the chassis cab frame was bent which more than doubled the cutoff for totalling the vehicle. The appraiser actually had the audacity to not call me to explain the settlement options, but set a message on USAA with a few figures and a decline or accept buttons at the bottom? That is real "personal" service! (The only person from USAA claims that was courteous and concerned about me was a Laura Regelado!

She was the kind of person who used to talk with members on the phone - kind, courteous, & concerned.) It was a fender bender of less than 30 mph, in effect, as the airbag did not even deploy. It is visually apparent that the damage is bent body components on the right front. There is no bent frame! It is visually obvious and I am going to get an independent appraiser to verify it.

Before the appraisal, I was already getting notices from USAA about being qualified for new car loan. I don't want a new car or truck. I want my great truck back on the road! I may be wrong, but I get the impression that the contract appraisers total the vehicle to the extent to push the member toward taking out a new car loan from the Bank side of USAA.

This has the hint of a viable way to increase loans.

I hope this isn't true as I have been a member for over 40 years and, up til now, all my auto loans have been through USAA. We are going to get a newer travel trailer in the next year and were going to use USAA; however, after this situation, we may use a local bank.

Product or Service Mentioned: Usaa Auto Claim.

Reason of review: Poor service and suspicious appraisal.

Monetary Loss: $6000.

Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.

USAA Pros: Convenience of having all accounts with one bank.

USAA Cons: Customer service.

  • Usaa Auto Insurance Claim
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Pilote7102
#1270937

Well, I was wrong! After my friends at the garage pulled all the damaged stuff out of the way, the metal plate part at the front corner of the passenger side frame, the part that the bumper and other parts attach to is bent.

But not the "frame" (rail) itself. An expert is going to look at it and if that extended part of the frame can be straightened, it might be recoverable. If not, I'll be parting the truck out and keeping certain improvements recently made to put into a replacement of approximately the same year and engine type.

Have talked with the Claims rep since then and things seem to be cordial again.

Anonymous
#1271327
@Pilote7102

Appraisers look at an avg of 7 wrecked vehicles a day and most have been doing so for a minimum of 7 years in order to work for a trusted outfit like USAA.

They know their job.

They are also trained by a company that sees an avg of 15,000 wrecked vehicles, per day.

You're also doing business with a company known for their financial services. Of course, they are marketing a loan to you.

That's what they do. It has zero to do with their decision of totalling your vehicle or not.

Pilote7102
#1271781
@Anonymous

The appraiser later called after the settlement and explained the whole process and I was satisfied with that. What "set me off" was the impersonal way the initial contact was handled which was "here are the figures, please sign here" in a computer correspondence.

I am sure he and many people today, unfortunately, do not realize the gaffe this is for many people still around from more personalized eras.

This seems fine to some Millenials but will never be fine with many of us "older" folks. In the rush to get things done in our hurried world, we need to take time to talk to people, not just "text" them on important matters (to them).

Pilote7102
#1260591

I've had at least one experienced mechanic that I trust look at it already. No bent frame - a relatively "simple" remove and replace of front end body components, radiator, heat exchanger, transmission cooler, etc. Doubtful, it would cost the $7000 their appraiser put on that part (plus another $6000 for the supposedly bent frame).

After listening to other negative comments from fellow long-term USAA members where I work and comments on the internet concerning the declining courtesy and service of USAA employees and contractors, I highly recommend doing what the mechanic told me I should have done in the first place - hire an independent appraiser before settling with USAA.

Pilote7102
#1324397
@Pilote7102

I highly recommend that you not let them have your older vehicle to haul off to some "appraisal" yard hours away from your location. Don't let them have it until you have an independent appraiser look it over.

Also, check first and see if your state (as Texas does apparently and I wasn't aware of) allow the appraiser to use market value of your vehicle as the basis. The book on mine was $5700, but the market value runs between $10,000 and $20,000 (no joke) and it was in excellent condition before the wreck. Before they pick it up take pictures of every inch of your vehicle and have someone to verify them, date and location. I didn't take pictures of the back of the truck a day or so before they picked it up because there was no damage there.

If you can be there when they pick it up and have a camera with you - much the better!

The appraiser when he got it or when it arrived at their yard, took pictures and the rear damage was there!

So, it was damaged by the service contracted to take it to them or at the yard upon arrival (it looks like it was either rammed or rolled into another vehicle) and the appraiser never saw it as it really was after the accident. And request, if it will do any good, a different claims agent if the one that is in contact with you is "not your friend." No one should have to put up with discourteous, unfriendly service from a company that had (and hopefully will re-obtain) a reputation of courteous, helpful service on claims by their members, regardless of whether they are at fault or not!